Walk21 Hong Kong Conference opens to Walk Charter signing
Encourages a pedestrian-first environment for the city
HONG KONG, 3 October 2016 – The Walk21 Hong Kong Conference kicked off its five-day event today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre as representatives from Hong Kong and around the world signed the International Charter for Walking, pledging to promote walking as a key component in the future urban design of cities. By signing the charter, signatories acknowledge the needs and benefits of creating healthy, efficient and sustainable communities where pedestrians are valued over cars. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust is the Lead Sponsor of the Conference. Through this five-day event the Trust hopes to promote walking as a driver to shape a low carbon and liveable city.
Prior to the official opening of the Conference, under the leadership of Civic Exchange - an independent public policy think tank in Hong Kong – a distinguished group of representatives signed the International Charter for Walking. This group of signatories included: Energizing Kowloon East Office, Mr. Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of the Harbourfront Commission, as well as representatives from AIA, American Institute of Architects (Hong Kong Chapter), Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in Hong Kong, City of Krakow of Poland, CRECC, Hang Lung Properties, Hong Kong Broadband, Hong Kong Institute of Landscape Architects, Hong Kong Institute of Planners, Hong Kong Institute of Urban Design, Hongkong Land, Lead-8, Mr. Sangbum Kim (Former Vice Mayor of Seoul), MTRC, OTC Planning and Design, Oval Partnership, Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport, RoadShow, Swire Properties, Urban Land Institute and World Wide Fund Hong Kong.
“Civic Exchange is very excited that such an impressive group of signatories including government representatives, the real estate industry, leading architects, professional institutes, businesses, and NGOs have joined hands today at our Walk21HK Conference. By signing the Charter, signatories have displayed a commitment to developing well-designed and managed spaces as well as places for people, improved integration of networks and increased inclusive mobility. Hong Kong can be the world’s most walkable, liveable and inclusive city if we all work together towards this vision,” said Civic Exchange CEO Maura Wong at the signing ceremony.
2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Charter. Hong Kong is the latest addition to the Charter, which has been endorsed by 5,000 cities, including London, Ottawa, Sydney and Vienna in addition to 200 city mayors since its launch in 2006.
From October 3 to 7 at the Walk21 Hong Kong Conference, experts from numerous disciplines, ranging from urban planning to the environment to healthcare, will discuss how walkability can be achieved through architecture, city landscaping, and technology and innovation. City mayors, government officials and academics will share their experience and insights based on real-life projects. Mr. Anthony C K Chow, Deputy Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said, “ We are very pleased to support the Walk21 Conference and in particular the Hong Kong Jockey Club Public Forum this Thursday. Walk21 Hong Kong highlights a key and significant way in which we can improve the lives of our fellow citizens. Through the Forum which will take as its theme ‘Walking towards a low-carbon Hong Kong’, we hope to encourage many more people to support a walkable and low-carbon Hong Kong. ”
This is the 17th annual International Walk21 Conference and the first time ever that the event has been held in Asia. Ms. Wong of Civic Exchange said, “Walk21 Hong Kong breaks new ground – by assembling a large number of government officials from Hong Kong, Singapore, Stockholm, Berlin, and other parts of the world in the same room with industry experts and civic leaders to talk about a new vision for cities of the future. It is also the first time walking and walkability command such a high level of exposure and expert discussion in Hong Kong. We hope this will catalyse real change in our city.”
For more information on Walk21 Hong Kong, please visit www.walk21hk.com, where the full Conference Programme can be downloaded.
For photographs of the International Charter for Walking signing ceremony and the Walk21 Hong Kong Conference, please click here: http://bit.ly/W21HK-PHOTOS